Update: Racism & Work

I haven’t posted in a while because, life. But guess who accepted their first big boy job? Yes Beanie Babies, I am now apart of Teach for America! It’s truly an honor. And it was perfect timing because I’m ready to say “KISS MY BLACK ASS” to my current employer, Nordstrom. Which brings me into the point of this post, inequality within the work place. So, get a little closer into your screens and catch this.

So, at work we have to wear a third piece which is like no big deal for me because I’m king of jackets at this point. I have a jacket for like every mood, season, occasion, doesn’t matter I’m well prepared with jackets. My favorite jacket is my thrifted American Eagle denim jacket with “BLM” painted on the back. For those who don’t know BLM stands for Black Lives Matter. Now, I’ve been wearing this jacket to work for over a year now with no problems. I’ve had customers ask what it means and I tell them and they never have a problem with it. It’s either a “oh ok cool” or a “right on brother!” Just depends on who it is. So of course, spring is here, I wanted to do a simple denim on denim look with a loafer. Left class and headed to work like I do everyday. Now let’s pause, I believe in wearing your beliefs and for whatever reason some people still have a bad taste in their mouth about Black Lives Matter and since I don’t want to discuss why black lives matter every day of my life, I simply had BLM put on it which literally could mean, anything. Bacon,lettuce and mayonnaise. Booty,lips and manners. Believe, love and magic. I don’t know I could do this all day. And the importance of these pieces of clothing no matter what they say or stand for is to let people know, this is who I am, this is what I’m about and I don’t have to say it. Isn’t that what fashion is anyway? Self expression ?

Anyways, so I’m at work politicking with a co-worker and another co-worker of mine decides to walk up to us and goes “they let you wear that jacket to work?” Let’s pause again. I’ve been wearing this jacket for over a year now. Also, this is the same co worker who likes to call black men thugs because of what they have on, this is the same co worker who brags about people she has gotten fired because they said something to her that wasn’t to her standards, this is also the same co worker who voted for Donald. Anyways, this is how the conversation went.

Co-worker: They let you wear that jacket to work?

Me: Yes.

Co-Worker: That’s interesting because they didn’t let me wear my “it ain’t easy being sleazy” shirt to work

Me: Uhm, so you’re comparing my BLM jacket to your shirt that says it’s not easy being sleazy?

Co-Worker: Yeah! It’s not fair! I’m offended!!

Me: Why are you offended?

Co-Worker: Because its offensive !

Me:Well you know who offends me? Your president.

Co-Worker: Ok but don’t all lives matter ?

Me: They do but people like you and your president tend to target people of color and black people, hence why black lives matter.

Co-Worker: Oh really? Ok. Well I’ll see you in HR.

Girl! G-I-R-L!!! I was so confused. Like how dare she? The audacity of her to try to pick an argument with me while I’m at work. But I was so unbothered I just continued to work and I did mention it to my managers what had taken place and they were just as confused me because again I’ve been wearing this jacket for over year now(I’m going to keep bringing that up). But here’s the gag, swallow whatever you’re drinking or chewing because I’m about to blow your life. After she leaves, she calls the department and asks to speak to me. When I picked up she’s like ” Haha! I really got you didn’t I? Oh man! That was funny! You know I was playing right ? I mean why would I care what your jacket says? I love you! Bye”. Only thought that went through my mind was “What kind of white magic is this?” Like I was so blown! I felt like I was in the matrix.

Let’s be very clear, no one plays like that! Like no one. Also, behind every I’m playing is a lot of I’m very serious. This lady is always reaching on into the racists pool of problems and she expects me to think she was playing.

So the next day I was off, and apparently she went around telling people what she did making light of the whole situation. FYI: the majority of my department is black. There’s two Asians and three other white women, one who is married to a black man and has a baby by him. So no one was on her side. She opened her damn mouth so much it eventually got to upper management and then became an HR issue(head of HR is also black). I didn’t return to work until the day after and guess what the hell they told me, I couldn’t wear the jacket I’ve been wearing for over a year to work anymore. So I’m like, are you guys going to buy me a new jacket because now I’m offended. Basically, it’s ok for this white woman to openly make racist remarks and attack people at work but I can’t wear a jacket that say BLM which can literally mean bacon, lettuce and mayonnaise? I was enraged. So enraged I had to call my mother. Sometimes you just have to call your mom and she said something to me that calmed me all the way down “People like that need small victories like that to make them feel bigger than they are,let her have this small victory because yours will be way bigger” and yes God it was!

It doesn’t matter what I wear or how I wear it, someone is going to be offended or make me a target for something. It’s all apart of being black in America. I can wear a suit and tie and still be referred to as a thug when I’m the furthest thing from a thug all because I’m a black man. And that’s the sad truth of it all. Nordstrom telling me I couldn’t wear my jacket was a slap in the face for me but again, small victories. I’m pro black with or without the jacket so it’s ok. My stance is still the same, black lives matter and I don’t have to explain why they do, they just do. Fashion is self expression and if we can’t express ourself with our outfits, what are we supposed to do ?

-Beanz Out

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